The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has led to a third of home improvement plans being cancelled or postponed over the past two years, research suggests.

Homeowners and renovators have reportedly been hesitant to press ahead with their plans, with 27% feeling their work will be impacted by the UK’s prospective exit from the EU on 31 October, irrespective of whether the UK leaves with a deal or not. 

The research, conducted by VELUXcomprised asking 2,000 homeowners who planned to carry out home improvements over the next six months about whether Brexit would impact their plans.

One in seven (14%) of respondents said that leaving without a deal would most likely lead to them delaying or shelving their plans, while one in eight (12%) said leaving with a deal would make them more likely to carry on with their plans. 

How is Brexit Affecting Self Builders?

Ever since the EU referendum in 2016, self build experts were sceptical as to how Brexit would affect the market. 

Andy Stevens, managing director of Eclipse Property Solutions, wrote in the September 2019 edition of Homebuilding & Renovating magazine that one of the impacts of Brexit has been the rising cost and shortages of some materials, such as plasterboard.

“Sadly, I know some suppliers are charging more than double for bags of multi-finish and some plasters are paying over the odds because they simply have to get on with their work,” he said. 

“My advice is, if you’re planning a self build or have building works on your property coming up, I would check stock levels with suppliers.”

Home Improvement Plans

When cities and demographics were compared, the Brexit impact on home improvement plans was shown to vary.

Almost half of homeowners (49%) said the outcome of Brexit had no bearing on their projects, unaffected by the uncertainty. Meanwhile only 9% of 45-55 years olds said they would postpone or cancel their plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit, compared to 18% of 35-44 year old homeowners.

Across the UK a pattern was observed amongst those who voted to leave being less likely to cancel their home improvements compared with those who voted to remain. 

Grant Sneddon, product manager from VELUX, said: “The spectre of Brexit has clearly played a major factor in many households’ home improvement decisions during recent years and looks set to continue playing a key role in the decision-making process.

“However, it’s pleasing to see that a large proportion of homeowners remain unaffected by wider uncertainty surrounding Brexit. For many people, the emotional benefits of improving their living spaces outweigh wider economic considerations. For them and their families, creating the ideal living space is paramount to their lifestyle aspirations.”

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